336 Items

from left, Kim Budil, director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Nuclear Security Administration director Jill Hruby, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Arati Prabhakar, the president's science adviser, and National Nuclear Security Administration Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Marvin Adams

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Fusion Breakthroughs in Context: Professors Holdren and Bunn Reflect on Fusion Ignition Announcement

| Dec. 14, 2022

The Belfer Center Communications Team reached out to policy experts John P. Holdren and Matthew Bunn to reflect on the recent achievement of fusion ignition at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia speaks during a Security Council meeting in 2018.

AP Photo/ Mary Altaffer

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Russia’s “dirty bomb” disinformation, annotated

| Dec. 01, 2022

In late October, after eight months of war, the Russian government claimed that Ukraine was preparing to use a "dirty bomb" and blame it on Russia. There was never any evidence for this claim. But Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nbenzia, nevertheless sent a letter (reproduced below) demanding that the Security Council hold a meeting to discuss the "dirty bomb" issue.

Russia's claims have been widely dismissed. Nevertheless, Russian spokesmen are continuing to press the narrative.  (See, for example, the November 8 statement from Anatoliy Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the United States, which slurs together with the dirty bomb theme a variety of other false claims about Ukraine.) It seems worthwhile, therefore, to debunk Russia's claims in detail.

On the right is Miklhail S. Gorbachev with then Belfer Center Director Graham Allison on the left. With a Harvard Kennedy School JFK Jr. Forum backdrop behind them. 

Martha Stewart

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s Legacy

Former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who is known for ending the Cold War, dissolving the Soviet Union, and changing the map of Europe, died Tuesday, August 30. He was 91.

We asked several Center experts for their thoughts on Gorbachev and his impacts – and how his life and actions are relevant to the challenges the world faces today.

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Newspaper Article - Harvard Gazette

Russia’s Remaining Weapons Are Horrific and Confounding

| Mar. 23, 2022

Along with concerns over the possible deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, the Biden administration is now warning that the Russian military may launch a chemical weapons attack in Ukraine. Russia has used chemical weapons during past conflicts, notably in Chechnya and Syria, in violation of international law. Russian officials denied Biden’s accusation during a U.N. Security Council meeting Tuesday.

(Rusted) Missile silo of a SS-24 missile, Strategic Missile Forces Museum in Ukraine.

Credit: Michael. CC BY 3.0. Accessed via Wikipedia.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Ukraine Building a Nuclear Bomb? Dangerous Nonsense.

| Mar. 09, 2022

The Kremlin is claiming that Ukraine is developing nuclear weapons. Like most of Russia’s other pretexts for invading Ukraine, this is dangerous nonsense. In his February 21 war speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Ukraine possesses delivery systems and nuclear technologies inherited from the Soviet Union and that, with foreign support, “it is only a matter of time” before Ukraine creates nuclear weapons. Echoing this concern, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his address to the Conference on Disarmament on March 1, alleged that Ukraine “started dangerous games related to plans to acquire their own nuclear weapons.”

Photo of a Russian armored personnel carrier burning amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. The city authorities said that Ukrainian forces engaged in fighting with Russian troops that entered the country's second-largest city on Sunday.

(AP Photo/Marienko Andrew)

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Impacts of Russia’s War in Ukraine

Belfer Center experts in security, intelligence, cyber, nuclear, and energy offer analysis and insight into Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Posters of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone attack on Jan. 3, 2020, are seen in front of Qiam, background left, Zolfaghar, top right, and Dezful missiles displayed in a missile capabilities exhibition by the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard at Imam Khomeini grand mosque in Tehran on Jan. 7, 2022 (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi).

AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

America Has No Good Options on Iran

| Jan. 17, 2022

The hard truth is that the United States now has few good options for containing Iran’s nuclear program. It can persist with the no-deal status quo, allowing Iran to continue inching closer to a bomb while suffering under sanctions. It can pursue a return to the 2015 agreement and then attempt to get Iran to agree to a “longer and stronger” pact, as the Biden team has suggested. It can try for various other deals, either more or less stringent than the 2015 agreement. Or it can attempt to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure with a military strike, possibly setting Tehran’s progress toward a bomb back by a few years but almost certainly provoking retaliation and possibly a sprint toward the nuclear finish line.

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The U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism Newsletter: November 2020 - November 2021

| Dec. 10, 2021

 

  • U.S.-Russia Elbe Group Maintains Focus on Threat of Nuclear Terrorism.
  • Former Chernobyl Plant Manager Bryukhanov Dies.
  • Matthew Bunn on Threat to Nuclear and Radiological Transports.
  • On 9/11 Anniversary Russian Officials Call for Resumption of U.S.-Russian CT Cooperation.
  • Experts Weigh in on 9/11 Anniversary.
  • U.S. and Norway Agree to Eliminate All of Norway’s HEU.
  • Two Soviet Nuclear Submarine Reactors Located.
  • Russian Security Council: Terrorists Remain Interested in NBC.
  • IAEA Adopts Resolutions on Nuclear Security, NS Center Planned.
  • Allison on Risk of Mega-terrorist Attack After U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan.
  • Arbatov Warns of Enduring Threat of Nuclear Terrorism to Russia in His New Volume.
  • Russia’s New Security Strategy Drops References to CT Partnership With U.S.
  • NNSA’s Non-Proliferation Budget to Decrease in ’22, Provides for US and Russian Visits.
  • Should U.S.-Russian Interaction in Cyberspace Involve CT? 
  • Russia’s NPP Operator Conducts Emergency Preparedness Exercise.
  • Putin and Biden Discuss Terrorist Threat Emanating from Afghanistan, but No Deal.
  • U.S. Experts on Ensuring Access to Neutrons While Reducing Nuclear Terrorism Risks.
  • Beebe Weighs in on U.S.-Russian CT Interaction.
  • Duo Detained for Alleged Attempt to Sell Americium-241.
  • 12th GUMO Guard’s Sentence Upheld.
  • NDAA-Mandated Group to Identify Nuclear Terrorism Risks.
  • Belfer’s MTA Hosts Conference on Lessons of Fukushima and Chernobyl.
  • Russia Withdraws from Uranium Hexafluoride Transportation Deal with U.S.
  • Bell: U.S. Needs to Convince Russia on Contending With Nuclear Terrorism Threat.
  • U.S. and Canada Complete Repatriation of HEU Material.
  • Siegfried Hecker Outlines his Vision of Future for Nuclear Security Cooperation.
  • Hackers Breach U.S. Nuclear Agency.
  • Tobey on Assassinations of Nuclear Scientists and Terrorists.
  • Rosatom Has Checked Nuclear Sites, Following a Tip on Terrorism from U.S.

Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong, China, in 2019.

EDF Energy via Wikimedia Commons

Book Chapter - Cambridge University Press

Enabling a Significant Nuclear Role in China’s Decarbonization

| Dec. 02, 2021

While China is building nuclear reactors faster than any other country in the world, major constraints may limit nuclear energy’s ability to grow to the scale of hundreds of gigawatts that would be required for it to play a major part in decarbonizing China’s energy system. This chapter explores the major constraints on, and risks of, large-scale nuclear energy growth in China, and how both new policies and new technologies might address them. It focuses particularly on the two biggest constraints – economics and siting. Substantial government policies to support nuclear power and advanced reactor systems designed to address some of the key constraints are both likely to be needed for nuclear to have a chance of playing a major role in decarbonizing China’s energy system; nuclear energy’s role may be bigger in the second half of this century than in the first half.

Book - Cambridge University Press

Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China

How can China make good on its pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2060? In Foundations for a Low-Carbon Energy System in China, a team of experts from China and the United States explains how China's near-term climate and energy policies can affect long-term decarbonization pathways beyond 2030, building the foundations for a smoother and less costly national energy transformation.